The A-1 Skyraider had four M-3 20mm cannons, two in each wing. Each cannon held 180 rounds. The rate of fire was a nominal 700 rounds per minute (12 rounds per second) per cannon. The cannons could be fired in pairs (inboard or outboard pairs) or all four at once.
The 20mm ammo was percussion primed similar to a conventional small caliber weapon. A firing pin struck the primer with sufficient force to discharge the round. This in contrast to more modern electric primed ammo which allowed higher rates of fire. The M-61 20mm cannon used in more modern aircraft had a rate of fire approaching 6,000 rounds per minute (100 rounds per second).
Percussion primed ammo caused misfeed and jam problems both due to its reliability (old Korean was vintage ammo) and probably old equipment. It was a relatively rare occurrence to return from a mission without at least one jammed gun.
The red streamers were connected to safing pins which were removed before flight in the arming area near the end of the runway. Cleverly enough, the words "Remove Before Flight" were printed on them in big white letters. Rest assured, they have made it airborne for whatever reason.
The aircraft parking and loading area was made up of revetments with approximately 12 feet high walls which were 3 feet thick. This was to prevent the loss of more than one aircraft should an accident involving explosion or enemy rocket attack occur.
The aircraft parking area and taxiways at Nakhon Phanom (NKP) were covered with pierced steel planking (PSP). When NKP first opened in the mid 1960s, the entire airfield including the runway was PSP. PSP was sometimes a bouncy ride and was extremely slippery when wet. This was especially true of areas where A-1s operated since the A-1 was known to use and drip lots of oil which invariably found its way onto the PSP.
The LAU-59 rocket pod held seven 2.75" FFARs. LAU means Launcher Aircraft Unit. FFAR means Folding Fin Aircraft Rocket. The rockets could have different types of warheads. HE (high explosive) rockets were used against targets made of wood or truck type steel. HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) heads had a shape charge and were used against armored vehicles. WP (white phosphorus) heads were used to either mark a target with smoke or as an incendiary weapon. The LAU-59 pod was reusable and was returned with the aircraft for reloading. The LAU-68 was a newer version of this pod. The LAU-3 was a 19 tube rocket launcher carried on most loads including the Sandy load.
A Korean war vintage weapon that was comprised of six small bomb-shaped bomblets mounted on a suspension rack. When the rack was dropped, the bombs would disperse giving a wide area of coverage. This was a predecessor to CBU (cluster bomb units).
These 500 lb class stores happen to be finned which allowed for a more accurate and predictable trajectory. If the fins were removed, the canisters would tumble unpredictably after release which created a wider dispersion pattern for the napalm. Napalm was used as an incendiary type weapon.
This small (100 lb) bomb was used in two ways. If dropped safe (unarmed) the bomb case would crack open on ground impact and produce smoke for up to 30 minutes. This was often used to mark points on the ground so as to be able to relocate them later when needed. If dropped armed, the fuse would burst open the case on impact and ignite whatever was in the vicinity.
These odd shaped dispensers are CBU-25(cluster bomb unit). Each of the six tubes contained baseball sized bomblets which were dispensed out the rear of the tube. The CBU was dispensed one tube per press of the pickle button. Since the A-1 often carried four CBU-25s, this was good for up to 24 passes alone without regard to the rest of the ordnance!
This small steel cable was connected to a grounding point on the aircraft to guard against static discharge during refueling and weapons loading operations.
CBU-22 was a specialized ordnance which was optimized for search and rescue (SAR) missions. There was little external difference between CBU-25 and CBU-22 as both CBUs utilized the SUU-14 dispenser. The dispenser contained several smoke producing bomblets which was often used to produce a smoke screen to help hide the pickup area from hostile gunners. If dropped nearer the ground, the bomblets had an incendiary effect since they would still be burning when they hit the ground.